Jump to content

The Latin Scot

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by The Latin Scot

  1. I think that's part of why the program waits until the boys are Webelos Scouts before introducing the concept of choosing a Den name and emblem. Boys younger than 10 have a hard time coming to a consensus on something like representative nomenclature, and their fickle personalities mean that they get bored with what they choose quickly. Finding a good totem for their group is really hard, especially finding one that they will all like. But that's why they already have totems and names selected for them by the Cub Scout program itself - they are the Tigers, then the Wolves, then the Bears. They can personalize those if they wish (the white tigers, the grizzly bears, the timber wolves, etc.), but I think at those ages it's easier to use the totems given and keep things consistent with their ranks and books. 


    Once they are Webelos however, they no longer have a "given" totem, so that's when they can come up with their own. The "Flying Eagle Webelos Den" works because Webelos is not a totem in and of itself. But the "Flying Eagle Wolf Den" seems strange because they are already the Wolves, so why add another emblem? For this reason, I think that compelling a group to use the same flag could become problematic, not to mention arbitrary and unnecessary. Their name and totem will change with each rank through each year, so I don't think it is a very thoughtful move by a committee to make such a request. Not that they have the authority to do so anyway.  :rolleyes:

  2. Welcome Tron! I am impressed with how articulate and well-written your post is; it speaks highly of your ability to play a key role in improving you unit and program. 


    I am so glad to hear from a Scout about his desire to participate more in the program at the Committee level. I think your attendance would be a huge benefit to the boys in your Troop, as there are many committees who get so caught up in the bureaucracy of Scouting that they lose focus of the actual Scouts of which it is composed. As you are clearly an experienced leader with the best interests of the Scouts at heart, as well as an intelligent individual who can articulate his thoughts well, you should be a welcome and important member of the Committee and its discussions. 


    I had a recent experience in regards to this very issue. I am the Webelos Den Leader, but I am close to many of the boys in the Troop, and since we meet at the same time and place I have frequent occasion to check in on their progress, and I often help the Scouts navigate the oft-perilous waters of Adult Meddling in their activities. Well, I recently had a conversation with the Senior Patrol Leader who came to me with concerns about some things that weren't happening in the Troop, and he wanted to know what to do. His list of concerns included the following:


    1. Our Troop has had no involvement with the Order of the Arrow for years (I was the last boy to be inducted over a decade ago), and there were a number of boys who wanted to nominate their friends to be a part of it

    2. The older Patrol wants to get new neckerchiefs in their patrol colors, instead of using the same ones they were given at their bridging ceremony years ago

    3. After I told them about what it was (they had never heard of it), the boys want to go to Camporee (again, it's been years since our Troop has gone), but they don't know how to convince their Scoutmaster to take them


    I thought about it, and asked him simply "Have you presented your ideas to the committee?" He looked at me with wide-eyes and asked "Am I allowed to?" I told him essentially "Hey, you are the Senior Patrol Leader, and you represent the interests of all the boys in the running of THEIR program. If you get the input of your boys and the Patrol Leader's Council, you can present the information to the committee and inform them (not ask, INFORM) that you have elected to attend Camporee, nominate some boys for the OA, and obtain new neckerchiefs in your chosen colors. Then, ask the committee how they are going to help the Troop accomplish these goals."


    So, next week he is going to have all of his information ready to present the desires of the troop to the Committee so that they can know exactly what issues the boys want addressed (I will attend to support him and his propositions as well). And that, Tron, is how it should be. The Committee exists to facilitate the needs of the Troop, but if the entire spectrum of the Troop's wishes is not fully represented by the adult leadership, the Senior Patrol Leader or his chosen representative is perfectly within his rights to attend the meeting and voice the desires of the boys themselves. I have recently read every edition of the Boy Scout Handbook and Scoutmaster's Handbook published since 1912, and there is nothing to say you cannot attend the meetings, but there are a number of occasions where it mentions issues or concerns being brought up by the boys themselves at Committee meetings. So according to BSA precedent, you have a green light to attend and participate in a Troop Committee Meeting. Just make sure you have your ideas and concerns well-prepared, and that you attend with either the position or the approval of the Senior Patrol Leader, who technically should be one of the senior officers of a Troop Committee anyway. And as mentioned, be polite, hold your ground, and stand for the boys of your unit. I think any committee would be lucky to have such an involved and pro-active young man such as you be a part of their proceedings and planning.


    I hope you find this helpful.

    • Upvote 1
    • Downvote 1

  3. Okay so here is the book's information:


    The Boy Scout Council Shoulder Patch Guide : A Tour of Councils Through Their Patches

    by Steven and Elisa Delman





    It seems there have been several editions printed since the original; I think the cover I have posted is the latest one. Looking through it again, I note that it actually isn't as thorough as I remember (last time I read it was a year ago). It can be a bit fickle in which patches it includes; I do know that if you get the past editions you will get a more comprehensive view of the patches that were made. Evidently with each new edition they add lots of new patches, but at the expense of including older ones. Thus you may want to get all the editions printed; they are only $2 - $4 on Amazon. I hope this helps!

    • Upvote 2

  4. LOL thanks everybody; I never quite understood the "thumbs up/down" feature anyway, but it's nice to know that so far I haven't accrued any negative comments. Here's hoping things stay that way, tee hee!


    I have so far read the first 6 editions of the Scout Handbook, as well as the first 4 editions of the Scoutmaster's Handbook, since it seems he also included a complete collection of those as well. So much to read! So much to learn!

  5. My family received an amazing gift from an old and dear friend the other day.


    An elderly gentleman from my local congregation was a stalwart Scouter in his day. He earned his Eagle in 1942, and was a noble and decorated Scouter in the community for decades and decades. I have had occasion to admire his merit badge sash, complete with ALL the merit badges that it was possible to earn when he got his Eagle - a real treasure - along with his many medals and awards from the early days of Scouting.


    Well, he recently decided to move up to Oregon to be nearer his family and retire to an assisted living facility, and so he has been going through his things before making the move. And knowing that mine is an involved and faithful Scouting family, he presented us with a gift the other day - his collection of every edition of the Boy Scout Handbook that has been published since the Second Edition in 1914 (he could never find an affordable first edition)! Reading them has been absolutely delightful - I have learned so much more about the program by noticing tidbits on uniforms or history that later editions have missed, or by seeing the evolution of environmental understanding over the years. Not to mention having a shelf complete with the entire history of Scouting all together, including a few Scoutmaster handbooks and Patrol Leader guides! Most of all, it has been thrilling to read the strong and zealous language used to motivate boys of the past to be good men, great citizens, and powerful forces for good. In fact, they are downright inspiring at times.


    It is easily one of the greatest Scouting gifts we have ever been given. My unending thanks to our veteran Scouting friend who was kind enough to pass along these treasures to future generations of boys for them to read, and from which they can draw continual inspiration and motivation.

    • Upvote 3
    • Downvote 1

  6. My local library has a book that has every U.S. Council in alphabetical order with their patches going back to the time that Council patches were first introduced. It also includes foreign councils, cancelled councils, and merged councils. I believe it was printed in the early 2000's, so it isn't quite up-to-date, but it is still a treasure trove of information for anybody looking into a collection.

  7. Where do I even begin ...


    As a new Cub Scout leader a little over a year ago, I received no materials, no information on where the boys stood in their advancement, received no training, no direction, the boys had no uniforms, the parents were as lost as I was, and there was no organization in the pack leadership.


    But all of that is fixed now!   :)

  8. Ugh. Not only is that improper uniforming, but it just smacks of attention-seeking and showing off. Those guys with 3 Jamboree patches, a fourth row of square knots (or more), and now multiple JTE patches ... they end up looking like third-world generalissimos looking their next Troop to conquer. :rolleyes:  

    • Upvote 2

  9. The committee in this case has come up with a really strange ruling. The flag "goes with them straight through to Webelos?" No. Once they are Webelos, they have to come up with a name and flag as part of the Scouting Adventure adventure in practice for the patrol method, and this shouldn't be something they came up with back in Tigers. That's why I liked the idea of using streamers for every boy; it gives them something personal they can add to a flag and, if needs be, take with them, while the flag itself can remain with the den if needed. However, the committee has no right to say whether or not this flag would have to stay with them or move on; that is up to the Den Leaders. If they move on and the Wolf Leader wants to create a new flag with the same boys, that's entirely within his rights. Same with Bears. The Webelos leader all but has to do so as part of the Scouting Adventure adventure. I am glad you are finding a solution to your committee's bizarre mandate.


    Now, if the Webelos have already come up with a Den Name, then any new boys who enter the Den can just assume the name of that group when they join. So in my Den, we are the Merry Archers, and any new boys become Archers automatically once they join our Den. But to make sure they can still contribute to our Den flag, they each create a new streamer, by themselves and with their name on it, once they join us. As the years go by the flag becomes a history of the Den by keeping on it the names of all those who have been a part of our group.


    Post Script: seeing as your name here is Gwaihir, I am surprised you haven't gone with the "Eagles" or "the Wind-lords", lol.

  10. Hmm. Usually, Cub Scouts younger than Webelos don't actually pick a name - they might go with the "Polar Bears" or the "Siberian Tigers," but it isn't until they are Webelos that they actually choose a name for themselves in practice of the Patrol Method during the Scouting Adventure adventure. Especially since Tiger Cubs are so small, they can get a lot out of simply building up their identity as Tigers. But since you have done so, and it can't hurt anything that you did, here are some great flag ideas for younger dens:





  11. Red is still allowed, but the program has officially transitioned to the forest green epaulets, so the red ones are on the same level as wearing a heritage uniform - they are perfectly acceptable, but are now part of a "historical" uniform, and are not current. The same with the hat, belt, socks, etc. - all are now transitioned to the Centennial Uniform's forest green, but the red effects can still be worn if it is done consistently and neatly (looking sharp is more important than matching colors :rolleyes:).


    I personally think the green is far superior to the red, but of course that is all personal preference. The old De la Renta uniforms were much too colorful for me when I was a Boy Scout; I like the sleeker uniformity of the forest green we use now. When I was a kid I always felt like a bag of skittles ready to suffer some epileptic fit, what with all the colors and varieties on the patches and badges in every imaginable shade and hue.  :blink:

  12. Eating as many hot peppers as one can before losing it is a very common Friday-night college activity among the kind of fools who don't study hard enough and can't get a date by the weekend. Trust me, I was roommates with many of them only a few years ago, lol.


    I personally like the flavor of ghost peppers, but then again half of my heritage is latino, and I am very acclimated to spices and heat in my food. I enjoy the way a good pepper can enhance the flavor palate of a meal. But there is the difference - for me, with a developed tolerance to such intensity, peppers like these add to and enhance flavor. It's not a matter of age, but eating habits, taste development, and even culture. So to my very, er, not-hispanic roommates who never eat anything hotter than the "hot sauce" at Taco Bell, it was just another dumb way to see how for they could push each other or themselves to do something stupid. And that's all that I can see from this little stunt - people throwing money (not much I imagine) at some guy just to watch his reaction. You wouldn't believe how enormous the ratings are for youtube videos of folks doing dumb things and getting reactions out of people. 


    Are these people giving money to Scouting? Not as much as they are paying for the chance to see some poor fool intoxicate himself with acids in front of a camera. It's the same mindset as those who watched gladiators slaughter each other in Rome, or those who paid to see the bearded lady at the sideshow, or any other pitiful production we go to see in our desperate attempts to keep ourselves from dealing with the realities of daily life. Which, ironically enough, is exactly the kind of sorry existence the Boy Scouts of America is fighting so hard to counteract.

  13. As an LDS Scout Leader, I can say that SSSCout has pretty much summed up a big part of our stand on camping with Cubs. A big part of the reason is that, frankly,  for a Cub-Scout-aged boy, camping is a lot to take in, and can be an overwhelming experience for a child (and Cub Scouts are still children). And while we encourage families to go camping on their own if they wish, the children at these tender ages can still be seen as a bit to young for a programmed camping experience, and honestly, they can develop the desire and learn the skills just as well by being eased into it as they can by being thrown in. They will have plenty of camping once they join the Troop.


    It's not a matter of limiting the boys experiences as much as preserving the tenderness of their childhood worldview, and in the Church's experience, it has led to a lot of success by the time they actually do join the Troop and are ready for the bigger adventure of over-night camping. But some children just aren't ready for an experience like camping at this age, and that's not a bad thing. Better to wait for an age when we can be more sure of their readiness than to require it of them before the desire is there.


    Whether or not they camp as a child will have no effect on their love of camping later in life. Neither my brother nor I ever went camping until we joined the Troop. He still loves the outdoors and camps whenever he can; I know all the skills to survive in the wild but despise camping nonetheless (which is why he works with Boy Scouts and I work with Cub Scouts, lol). We can teach them the skills to be excellent campers, but only they can choose to love it or not.

    • Upvote 1

  14. I think I am seeing some confusion between the Scout Sign and the Scout Salute


    The Scout salute, according the the Webelos handbook, "is a form of greeting that also shows respect. Use it to salute the flag of the United States of America." The Boy Scout Handbook says essentially the same thing. Obviously, we don't use the salute when repeating the Oath or Law or whatever.


    The Scout sign, according to the Webelos handbook, "is a universal symbol of Scouts ... The Scout sign is used to get people's attention." The Boy Scout handbook continues, "Give the Scout sign each time you say the Scout Oath and Scout Law."


    Neither handbook says anything about making it when we say the motto, slogan, or the outdoor code. As such, I won't feel compelled to use it with the Outdoor Code now, but it is nice to know that they are still encourage to make the sign when they repeat the Oath and Law.

  15. I agree, the Scouting Heritage merit badge should be required. It would do a lot towards building the investment of boys in their Scouting experience if they could get a sense of its deep history and the millions of others who have been through its ranks in the past. The bigger the picture they see, the more eager they will be to take part.

  16. I am surrounded by skilled and professional psychiatrists both at work and in my family. Every one of them agrees that in most cases, it really is just a matter of them being "tomboys" or even just feminine males that our society now thinks are "trans" or whatever. I am afraid, tyke, that the more you educate yourself on this matter, as the doctors and professionals I am close to have, you will learn that usually they absolutely DO NOT know much about gender and gender roles yet. I have taught a few "trans" children in my life, and what they are going through is a confusion that can either be assisted and consoled with professional help and good parenting, or compounded by false labels and attempts to make them fit in to these new societal "norms." Gender roles are often not fully understood until late adolescence, even early adulthood. No 8-year-old really grasps the concept. And why are these parents so hasty to give the child what they want? I hate hearing how the child was "sad" when one gender but then "happy" in another. Happiness is a choice, not a condition dependent on gender. If the child is depressed at this age, their gender should not be labelled as the "problem."


    Do not accuse others of ignorance merely because their opinions differ from yours. 

    • Upvote 1

  17. I don't see how the way the BSA "comes across" matters. This organization is built on principles, and it must be afforded the unalienable right to preserve the integrity of its beliefs. To try and mandate that this private organization should bend to the whims or wishes of certain bodies of people defies the very ideals of the country to whom we profess loyalty. I don't care two figs for what the media or popular opinion say; a Scout does the right thing and sticks to his beliefs, no matter how he is treated because of it. 


    The BSA took a stand on this issue. I would be unfit to teach the boys in my den the ideals of this program if I did not stand up for the right of this proud and honorable organization to stick to its beliefs and hold on to the principles it espouses. And so I stand by the Boy Scouts of America on this decision, but even more so, on its RIGHT to make it.

    • Upvote 1